Dolphins keep bringing 'gifts' ashore because they're lonely and missing humans

Dolphins in Australia bring “gifts” ashore because they may lack human interaction because the coronavirus pandemic keeps people away.

Volunteers say the animals have increased this display of unusually generous behavior.

People regularly queue to feed the school of humpback dolphins at the Barnacles Cafe & Dolphin Feeding in Tin Can Bay, Queensland

But it has been weeks since people visited the location.

The cafe wrote a message on Facebook: ‘The pod regularly brings us gifts, to show how much they lack public interaction and attention.



“They sure miss you all.”

The wonderful selection of treasures includes sea sponges, barnacle-encrusted bottles and pieces of coral.

The animals have exhibited this type of behavior before, a volunteer revealed, but it has increased since the cafe closed due to locking.

Talking about this unusual activity told Barry McGovern, an expert in dolphin behavior 7NEWS.com.au it is possible that the dolphins are trying to express that they are missing people, but it is unlikely.

“Nothing surprises me anymore with dolphins and their behavior,” McGovern, a PhD student at the University of Queensland, told the outlet.

“They do everything – they use tools, they have culture, they have something similar to names in signature whistles.



Dolphins keep bringing 'gifts' ashore because they're lonely and missing humans

“In all likelihood, they don’t necessarily miss people. They probably miss a free meal and routine.

He speculated that it may have been “playful behavior.”

“They often play with bits of weed and coral and anything and everything and just leave it on their noses (noses),” he said.

“They are used to being fed now, so they are used to people coming in.

“If it doesn’t happen, it might just be boredom.”

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